PředmětyPředměty(verze: 945)
Předmět, akademický rok 2023/2024
   Přihlásit přes CAS
Economic Sociology and European Capitalism - JSB455
Anglický název: Economic Sociology and European Capitalism
Český název: Ekonomická sociologie a evropský kapitalismus
Zajišťuje: Katedra sociologie (23-KS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2023
Semestr: zimní
E-Kredity: 7
Způsob provedení zkoušky: zimní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: zimní s.:2/0, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: neomezen / neurčen (25)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
4EU+: ne
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst pro virtuální mobilitu: ne
Stav předmětu: vyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: Christoph Sorg, Dr.
Mgr. Ing. Kristián Šrám
Vyučující: Christoph Sorg, Dr.
Mgr. Ing. Kristián Šrám
Třída: Courses for incoming students
Je neslučitelnost pro: JSM039, JSM018
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ing. Kristián Šrám (19.10.2023)
The module provides an introduction to economic sociology, discussed in the context of European capitalism. The emphasis is triple: 1) economic sociology’s emergence as a sub-field of sociology and its recent growing into a prominent field within sociology, 2) a discussion of varieties of (democratic) capitalism in Europe, and 3) an analytical focus on the transnational, European economy. The course focuses on the sociological study of economic phenomena, the exploration of different types of European capitalism, and the analysis of transnational market-making in the EU. It will both pay attention to the contributions of classic sociologists to reflecting on and analysing the economy, the market, and capitalism, as well as focus on recent developments and new theoretical avenues. The main sociological approaches to the economy will be reviewed, an introduction will be provided to the basic conceptual and heuristic tools used in economic sociology, and new ways of researching the interaction between the economy and the market, on the one hand, and society, on the other, will be explored.

A variety of empirical cases regarding both European societies and the European integration project will be discussed.

The course consists of six teaching session - two of the sessions are taught online. The schedule is irregular while the class includes one Saturday workshop with Christoph Sorg. Classes are held on the following dates:

20. 10.: Intro to economic sociology 1 & 2 (Kristián Šrám) - 09:30 - 12:20
10. 11.: Introduction to Theories of Neoliberalism (Kristián Šrám) - 09:30 - 12:20
1. 12.: Contemporary Challenges in European Integration (Kristián Šrám) - 09:30 - 12:20
15. 12.: Capitalism defined & European capitalism and its crisis (Dr. Christoph Sorg) & Digital capitalism 1 & 2 (Dr. Christoph Sorg) - 09:30 - 15:20
12. 1. 2024: Future of work & Future of Capitalism 1&2 (Dr. Christoph Sorg) - 9:30 - 12:20

Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: doc. Dr. Paulus Albertus Blokker (04.10.2018)

·         To introduce the students to the way sociology can contribute to understanding the economy, the market, and capitalism;

·         The sociological analysis of European democratic capitalism in its varieties and transformation;

·         The sociological analysis of the European economy and its relation to European institutions;

·         To explore different ways in which the economy is related to, and embedded in, society;

·         To help students develop a set of critical skills to analyse the economy and capitalism;

·         To create a basis for the analysis of social change and the relations between market mechanisms, political institutions, solidarity and communitarian structures;

·         To stimulate understanding of different forms of capitalism, and the historical and contextual basis of capitalist economies.

Podmínky zakončení předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ing. Kristián Šrám (16.01.2023)


Course completion requirements

grading will be based on final paper, presentation and documentary summary (20% summary, 30% podcast, 50% paper)


The class will be divided into groups of three to four students. The students will be asked to prepare a podcast (recorded audio discussion) on a selected topic. There are two podcast slots per teaching session starting from session 2 (Oct 30) - 10 slots in total.

The podcast consists of a 20-30 minute long discussion of one chosen course reading.

The key objective is to review & summarize the selected readings and explain the links to the session readings and topics.

The podcast is due two days before the particular session is held. The rest of the class will listen to the podcast before the session so that the topics can be discussed in class.

Final essay:

 The final exam consists in a written essay on a topic of choice, which has to be clearly related to both economic sociology and European capitalism. It is encouraged that students intensively use and discuss course materials/readings, and clearly relate the paper to the discussions and topics in the course.  

 Possible essay topics include:

- The end of capitalism

- The economic crisis in Europe

- Cultures of entrepreneurship

- Consumption in the digital age

- New forms of economic governance

- Differences in models of capitalism (Mediterreanean,East-Central European)

- Neoliberalism reigns supreme?

- (Im-)possibility of critique


 Grading System

91 - 100 points: A - excellent (outstanding performance with only minor mistakes)
81 -  90 points: B - very good (above average performance with some mistakes)
71 - 80 points: C - good (overall good performance with a number of notable mistakes)
61 - 70 points: D - satisfactory (acceptable performance with significant mistakes)
51 - 60 points: E - sufficient (performance fulfils only minimum criteria)
less than 51 points: F - insufficient/failed (more effort needs to be made)


Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ing. Kristián Šrám (14.09.2020)



In-class debate

Media materials

In case of epidemic measures, classes will be replaced by online teaching consisting of video lectures, peer-reviewed independent research, worksheet completion. 

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Ing. Kristián Šrám (01.10.2021)



















I. Introduction to economic sociology and European capitalism

The module starts off with a general introduction to economic sociology. Economic sociology will be discussed in terms of its historical development and key problématiques and concepts, main theoretical approaches/traditions, the nature, and philosophical assumptions of economic sociology. European capitalism will be discussed in terms of the processes of industrialization and modernization.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)


Smelser, Neil and Richard Swedberg (2005), ‘Introducing Economic Sociology’, in: Handbook of Economic Sociology, Princeton University Press.

The second reading will be assigned to students individually. Each group of students will read a different chapter from The Handbook of Economic Sociology. We will summarize these readings in the in-class discussion.



















II.: Capitalism Defined and the Crisis of European Capitalism 

This session will introduce students to the main institutions of capitalism: markets, property, labor, households etc. It will target both the more visible institutions of the marketplace as well as less visible background institutions such as polities, care work and the environment.

In the second part of the session we will talk about the recent crisis of European capitalism. This will include talking about the financial crisis, the Euro crisis and recent anti-austerity movements.

Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Nancy Fraser (2014): Behind Marx’s Hidden Abode. Towards an Expanded Notion of Capitalism. In: New Left Review 86.

Donatella della Porta (2017): Late Neoliberalism and its Discontents. An Introduction. In: Late Neoliberalism and its Discontents in the European Crisis, edited by della Porta et al. Palgrave Macmillan.
















III.: Digital Capitalism 

These two sessions introduce students to one of the main fields of recent economic research: digitalization. Students will learn about the academic study of changing technological and work relations, including concepts such as platform capitalism and automation. Concretely, we will discuss the commercial internet and emergence of large economic platforms such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. These cases will relate to broader questions about how digitalization is transforming the economy at large.

Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Nick Srnicek (2017): Platform Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press. Chapters 1-3.






















IV.: The Future of Work and the Future of Capitalism 

Having talked current digital transformations of (European) capitalism, we will move on to debates of automation and the future of work. Fears of (and sometimes hope for) human labor being replaced by machines are increasing; we will look at the literature to find if such hopes and fears are based on solid data and analysis.

The second part of the session will discuss the future of global capitalism. This will include transformations of labor, finance, technology, spatial divisions and business organization.

Readings (undergraduate and MA)

David Spencer (2018): Fear and hope in an age of mass automation. Debating the future of work. In: New technology, work and employment 33(1).

Beverly Silver (2013): Theorizing the working class in 21st century global capitalism. In: Workers and labor in a globalized capitalism, edited by Maurizio Atzeni. Palgrave Macmillan.


V. Introduction to Theories of Neoliberalism 


Neoliberalism has become a dominant concept in theorizing the organization of contemporary capitalism, and its impact on both society and individuals. Ranging across various social sciences, neoliberalism has become a contested concept. The class will discuss the historical emergence of neoliberalism and summarize the contemporary debates by exploring the key assumptions of various ways neoliberalism is theorized. The session will specifically scrutinize the micro-level impact of neoliberalism on contemporary societies while asking to which extent should we assume a critical perspective towards neoliberal changes.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Harvey, D. (2007). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, USA.

Hilgers, M. (2011). The three anthropological approaches to neoliberalism. International Social Science Journal, 61(202), 351-364.



VI. Contemporary Challenges in European Integration 


Following up on our previous debates regarding European political and economic crises, the emergence of anti-austerity movements, the final session will explore the recent phenomenon of European populism. The boom of populist movements has been, by some observers, deemed the most important political development in the past decade while the scientific reflection has undoubtedly undergone a revival of the interest in the subject matter. The class will introduce dominant approaches to populism and discuss its roots & effects while theorizing the links to the crisis of neoliberal capitalism and backlash against globalization.


Readings (undergraduate and MA)

Mudde, C. (2018). How populism became the concept that defines our age. The Guardian, 22.

Rodrik, D. (2018). Populism and the Economics of Globalization. Journal of International Business Policy, 1(1-2), 12-33.



Further and recommended resources


“Economic Discourses and Economic Dispositives”, issue of economic sociology, the european electronic newsletter, 14:2, available at: http://econsoc.mpifg.de/archive/econ_soc_14-2.pdf.

Boltanski, Luc and Ève Chiapello (2005 [1999]) The New Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Gregory Elliott, London: Verso.

Diaz-Bone, Rainer. "Economics of convention." KOLNER ZEITSCHRIFT FUR SOZIOLOGIE UND SOZIALPSYCHOLOGIE (2009): 176-+.

Du Gay, Paul, and Glenn Morgan (2014) (eds.), New Spirits of Capitalism?: Crises, Justifications, and Dynamics. Oxford University Press.

Fligstein, Neil (2001), The architecture of markets: An economic sociology of twenty-first-century capitalist societies, Princeton University Press.

Smelser, Neil J., and Richard Swedberg (eds) (2010), The handbook of economic sociology, Princeton university press.

Streeck, Wolfgang (2013), "The crisis in context: Democratic capitalism and its contradictions." Politics in the Age of Austerity. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 262-286.

Streeck, Wolfgang (2014),  Buying time: The delayed crisis of democratic capitalism. Verso Books.











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